Shortbread used to be one of my favourite treats to bake when I was younger. I loved that just a few ingredients could produce such a sweet, crumbly, homely biscuit.
So recently I began thinking about how I could come up with a similar texture but using much healthier ingredients than the traditional white flour, sugar and butter used to make shortbread. I figured that ground almonds could work well, thanks to their dense texture.
And it turned out to be delicious!
To be perfectly honest, it did take a couple of attempts to get this texture right, as it was too crumbly the first time I tried. It’s still quite a delicate biscuit, but I love that it looks rustic and home-baked.
The strawberries made a tasty addition to it, but raspberries or blueberries would work well too I’m sure.
Honey could be used in place of the maple syrup, but do use a liquid sweetener as it helps to bind the mixture together. I didn’t have maple syrup at home the first time I tried this and thought coconut sugar would work, but it didn’t hold the shortbread together properly. It did make a delicious granola-type snack though!
I used certified gluten-free oats for the recipe… and along with the ground almonds add a healthy dose of fats, fibre and protein.
- 170g (2 cups) gluten-free rolled oats
- 60g (1/2 cup) plus 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 110g (1/2 cup) of melted virgin coconut oil
- 125ml (1/2 cup) pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 medium-large strawberries, chopped into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 190C and lightly grease a 16cm x 22cm x 5cm baking tin with coconut oil or line with greaseproof paper.
- Place the oats in a blender or food processor and blend until a fine flour forms.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl with the ground almonds, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and stir well until a thick dough forms.
- Add in the chopped strawberries and ensure they're evenly distributed.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tray and press down firmly, making sure it's smooth and even.
- Bake in the oven at 190C for about 20 minutes, until the shortbread begins to turn golden-brown and crisp at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes before cutting into bars or squares.
- The strawberry shortbread is best eaten on day or baking, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.